OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to spike due to the Omicron variant, many wonder if it is time for a vaccine booster.
There are new at-home tests that can help people find answers.
“It measures your antibody immunity against COVID-19,” said Dr. Joshua Gunn, of Ethos labs
The health care professional is talking about the Tru-Immune Test. It’s just one of a number of tests on the market that don’t look for evidence of a past infection like an antigen test. Instead, the test measures virus fighters in the blood.
“Tru-Immune is a little different in that it looks for a subset of the antibodies that are the ones that can actually block and inhibit the virus,” said Gunn.
Dr. Gunn says the do-it-yourself home test is a great way to see where your immunity stands after the first or second vaccine dose. It could also help you decide if it’s time for a booster or even a second booster.
“That’s really been the driving force behind the interest in recent months. Folks are wanting to check along the way if their antibody-mediated immunity is declining and if so, can they use that to better decide when to get that booster shot?” said Gunn.
Being overdue for a booster myself, I decided to take the test. After reading over the directions, I jabbed my finger with a needle and put blood on swabs. I then packed up the sample in the included mailing bags and off it went. A couple days later, my results were emailed to me.
“When we put your blood sample up against the virus, we saw your blood or components of your blood, those neutralizing antibodies effectively inhibit that virus from binding to the H2 receptor with greater than 80% efficacy. So best result possible,” said Gunn.
“There is a huge spectrum of immunity, post vaccine and infection, and unfortunately, not everybody has the efficient response that you do. Some folks particularly those in the older age brackets can be double vaccinated and show no neutralization capacity against the virus,” said Gunn.
I ended up getting my booster. Dr. Gunn says he hopes some day, tests like these will establish a protocol to let doctors and patients know when they need to take action, as COVID continues to be part of our lives.
“I think as soon as we start speaking the same language and using a uniform way of describing risk and how to mitigate it, the better we will be,” said Gunn.
Right now, the tests are only available through the mail. Visit Ethos-Labs.com for more information